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Speeding, congestion and protest: the dark side of Scotland’s North Coast 500 route

For locals, the phenomenal success of this driving route means blocked roads, a racetrack mentality and mess, rather than the promised benefits to business

At Bettyhill General Merchants, a convenience store and post office in a remote village on Scotland’s far north coast, perched above the spectacular dunes of Torrisdale Bay, owner Susan Malone is anticipating the summer tourist season with ambivalence.

“There’s a sense among locals that the situation is going to get worse this summer. We’ve already had a much busier April and May than expected: I don’t think anybody realised how popular this [driving route] would become.”

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